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Old 06-27-2010, 12:48 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,054 times
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Hello everyone Im moving to the Dallas Area with my husband and 6 year old daughter within the next couple of months. I really need some advice on where we should move. We are African American so it is important to me that we move to a diverse area. We are looking to purchase a home as well, our price range is 375k-450k. My daughter will be going into 1st grade so it is important that the area have great schools. We are in our late 20's, so it is also important to us to live in an area that is surrounded by things to do. Any advice that anyone might have would be great. Thank you
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
4,198 posts, read 14,495,559 times
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Hello Shonda,

Do you know yet where you will be commuting for work? That would help a lot in suggesting areas so you don't end up too far. The DFW metroplex is about 3500 square miles so as you see it is pretty spread out.

Naima
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:27 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsumner View Post
Hello Shonda,

Do you know yet where you will be commuting for work? That would help a lot in suggesting areas so you don't end up too far. The DFW metroplex is about 3500 square miles so as you see it is pretty spread out.

Naima
I work from home, and my husband works in healthcare so Im certain that he will be able to find a job close by our home. So pretty much an open drawing board, however wouldnt we want to be too far from Dallas.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:02 AM
 
175 posts, read 456,653 times
Reputation: 180
I would look in Richardson. Very close to Dallas and good schools.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:06 AM
 
34,248 posts, read 54,216,129 times
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in that price range you have many options--

you should GOOGLE map the logical areas where your husband might find work--
big hospital, rehab center, doctors office, day surgery????
there are lots of options all over the metroplex

I will PM a real estate site and you should just do some mega searches
for what price/size/age/room # for house that you want in that price range

remember that tax rate will add probably 2.5 to 3%--maybe more-- of home value in taxes to add to mortgage amount---

In texas school districts do not run congruently with city limits---
one town can have 2-3-4 different school districts within its boundaries in some areas and one school district can flow over 2-3-4 different towns...

you need to make sure you know what school district YOUR house/neighborhood is in because of the 1) tax rate that district charges and 2) viability for resale and 3) general ambiance of living conditions

better school districts usually have better resale and living conditions

School districts are rated by the Texas Education Agency based on test scores on TAKS tests, graduation rates, % of highly qualified teachers, attendance per day, and other variables...
the MLS site I am forwarding has individual school ratings for each MLS listing's area--but not the district's rating--
EXEMPLARY, RECOGNIZED, ACCEPTABLE, UNACCEPTABLE
those are top to bottom ratings the schools and the districts can be awarded--
it is much more difficult for a larger school like a middle or high school to get an Exemplary rank--
and much easier for an elementary to have that--for lot of different reasons--

so when you see local schools where elementary AND the middle school are Exemplary--that is good neighbohood--even if the high school slides to Acceptable...
there are more high schools earning Recognized status--not always because their test scores and other factors have MADE the improvements they get an improved grade for--but because it is ANTICIPATED that they will do them--

(go figure how a state agency would do that--like a teacher saying I will round up your average to a B+ because I think you will do better next semester or next year but that is the reasoning behind some of the improvements in district ratings)...

frankly I would say you need to look at two factors--
1---if you are working from home you need good Internet access--determine what is the type of access you need and find where you can get it--ATT and Verizon have split the territory and ATT has more ground than Verizon from what I understand in Tarrant county area but not sure about Dallas side
you can also have access through the local cable companies-- like Time Warner--but lot of people seem disenchanted with them...

2--decide what physical type of location that you want--and that includes how much diversity
(the data part of city data has info like that for most cities in this DFW area--giving breakdown on ethnic groups/ages/education levels/salaries of residents in specific towns)...

do you want an area with lots of older, large trees or can you be happy with starter trees and more wide-open spaces...
if you are used to seeing the horizon and lot of "open" area where you are now--some of the Metroplex can be almost claustrophobic because you never see the horizon and rarely get a good view of say--the setting sun--
are you used to a noisy environment or do you need space and quiet
do you want area that has access to public transportation (and would you use it if it was there--really) because some areas have it and some don't--and won't get it any time soon
do you want an area with larger lots--because those are difficult to find
how far is your husband willing to commute each day each way--that will have lot to do with your targeted area
is there anything special that you need close--do you want access to a gym or say a yoga place or do you bike for recreation or have a dog that needs a good park to run in
do you want sidewalks--can you handle living with alleys between houses

when you post "things to do" are you talking about nicer restaurants for dinner, parks and outdoor rec areas like golf course or public tennis courts, community sports for your daughter or yourselves, good public library, movie theaters or live theaters in reasonable distances, bars/clubs with live music

people are usually very concerned with their HOUSE but not always so much with the immediate area it is located in--as long as it is not on a busy street or backing up to strip-mall parking lot--

our matra when we were a younger family was that there had to be a 7-11 within a block or two in direct drive to our house--because my husband was always having to stop on his way home from work for things like milk, bread, diapers--an emergency pit stop so to speak...

and because he had aging parents who drove to visit--we also had to have a house that was fairly easy to find--not that many turns inside a neighborhood--not that far off a main road--

as our family aged, our circumstances changed--when we wanted to move from the house we lived in for 20+ years--three factors were the hardest to find when we were searching--

1--had to be safe environment for our cat--who goes outside the yard--so we passed up a great house in Southlake that would have been perfect except it backed to fairly busy road...

2--had to have a driveway/garage that turned right to left (or really wide driveway left to right)--that was my big thing and I drove my realtor crazy--but so many newer homes are built narrow lots and tight turns into garages--I just did not want to fight my steering wheel 5 times a day...

3--had to have more rather than less privacy in back yard--
our other house had almost NO overlooking from houses behind us and we were just so used to that--going into backyards in MLS houses there were times we felt like there was no privacy because of the small yards, the two story houses with windows overseeing everything you might do--

we might have gotten used to it--but we did not want to buy a house and then discover that it was really something that kept us out of the backyard...especially if the house had a pool...
that is something every family has to decide for themselves though because some people it does not bother at all...

trying to find homes with those three aspects put a real burden on our search--because they are three things that put lot of importance on the lot location--not just the floor plan--and we had specifics for that as well
since we did not have to move we could take time --you might not be in that situation though...
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Plano
225 posts, read 490,808 times
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Hi Shonda,

Does your family prefer older homes in an established neighborhood or newer construction? I think a few neighborhoods around the Shops at Legacy in West Plano might be a good start unless you would prefer something mid century modern or before. Feel free to check out King's Ridge for the newest homes being built around there.

A few other very nice subdivisions not too far away from there that might be of interest are Willow Bend and Crystal Creek. There are many more areas, but hopefully this is a good start if you like the area.

Also, I would check out the Watters Crossing and Twin Creeks subdivisions in Allen. There is a new master planned shopping development that is located very close to here as well as easy access to 75, which is one of the main highways in the metroplex. There is also an Arnold Palmer designed golf course named Twin Creeks as well that goes through that subdivision.

Every area I have mentioned in this message contains extraordinary school districts as that is usually of the utmost importance to most people when looking. Plano is going to be more diverse than Allen, but you would be doing fine in either.

I'm not sure where you will be moving from, but coming from many places in the United States, people usually are pleasently surprised with the amount of home that they can afford.

Thanks,

Ryan
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,804 posts, read 96,829,560 times
Reputation: 49062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonda81 View Post
Hello everyone Im moving to the Dallas Area with my husband and 6 year old daughter within the next couple of months. I really need some advice on where we should move. We are African American so it is important to me that we move to a diverse area. We are looking to purchase a home as well, our price range is 375k-450k. My daughter will be going into 1st grade so it is important that the area have great schools. We are in our late 20's, so it is also important to us to live in an area that is surrounded by things to do. Any advice that anyone might have would be great. Thank you
you will find most of Dallas pretty diverse, so I would consintrate on the school districts. Flower Mound, Southlake, Coppell and yes, Grapevine are all good districts. If older homes are what you want, give Richardson a shot. They too have good schols and nice homes, the area is older though.

Nita
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